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A Day Off from God Stuff

What is a sabbath rest for pastors, when you handle holy things all week long?

Some pastors observe sabbath well. Their day away from work is markedly different from the other six, and there is something special and holy about what they do—and don't do—on that day. For others, the sabbath feels like another work day, another day of handling holy things that—even with the best of intentions—seems to have nothing particularly holy about it. It isn't set apart. It isn't even restful.

When you work with holy things all week long, what is it you are resting from when sabbath finally arrives?

Ben, the pastor of a small urban congregation in Seattle, keeps a Sunday sabbath. He is alone quite a bit during the week, so he relishes his time with people on Sunday mornings at church and with his wife's extended family in the afternoon.

For Ben, the heart of the sabbath is appreciating what God has given him. He makes an effort to walk slowly around the church building on Sundays in order to be present to the gift of the moment and the place. At coffee hour, ...

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